The recall involves approximately 600,000 light trucks manufactured in the U.S. and Canada. Affected models include certain model year 2002, 2003 and early 2004 Honda Odyssey minivans; 2003 and early 2004 Honda Pilots; and 2001 and 2002 Acura MDX sport-utility vehicles.
The situation is created by insufficient lubrication of the transmission's secondary shaft second gear that can occur under certain driving conditions. Prolonged operation under these conditions can lead to heat build-up and under certain circumstances may eventually result in chipped or broken gear teeth or breakage of the gear. In the event of a chipped or broken tooth, the owner will likely experience abnormal noise from the transmission and seek repairs. In rare instances, this condition may lead to gear breakage and possible locking of the vehicle's transmission, creating a potential safety hazard.
This more severe condition is extremely rare and affects only vehicles with high mileage. To date, the company's records indicate only ten confirmed instances in the United States and Canada of this type of transmission failure, with no injuries or accidents as a result.
Owners of affected vehicles will be contacted via mail and will be asked to take their vehicle to an authorized Honda or Acura dealer to be repaired free of charge. In most cases, the repair involves a simple gear inspection, which is accomplished without removing or disassembling the transmission, and a modification to increase the flow of transmission fluid to the affected gear. If during the inspection the service technician discovers discoloration of the gear indicating heat damage, Honda will replace the transmission assembly at no cost to the customer. Owners will be notified by mail when parts are available for their model, with notifications going first to the oldest affected units. Customer mailings will begin in May and should be completed by September.
Details regarding mailing dates and affected vehicles will be available on the Honda and Acura Web sites before the end of April. Owners will be able to access this information by registering at the "Owner Link" section of www.honda.com or www.acura.com and entering the 17-digit vehicle identification number found on the driver's side dashboard near the bottom edge of the windshield.
Customers concerned about the condition of their vehicle may also contact their
local Honda or Acura dealer, or call Honda customer service at (800) 999-1009
or Acura customer service at (800) 382-2238.